Document Type : Articles extracted from Thesis
M.A. student of Geography and Tourism Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Assistant Professor of Geography and Rural Planning , University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Destination branding is one of the essential components in tourism planning and an important tool for the development of tourism destination communities. The main core of the destination brand is to have a mental image of the brand, which is a vital factor in the decision-making process of tourists among tourist destinations. The purpose of this research is to analyze the role of the mental image of the destination brand in the tourism development of Marivan city. The research method is descriptive-analytical using a questionnaire tool. The statistical population is all tourists and visitors who have traveled from the natural, historical and cultural tourism centers of Marivan city in 2021. The questionnaire has been completed. To determine the sample size, the number of samples was determined to be 384 people using Cochran's formula. This number was selected by stratified random sampling using stratified-proportional sampling. The validity of the questionnaire was confirmed through the opinions of experts in the field of tourism, as well as the validity of convergence and divergence and the reliability of the instrument were confirmed by using Cronbach's alpha test. SPSS26 statistical software was used for data processing and the SmartPLS3 structural equation model was used to fit the measurement model. The results of the model showed that the dimensions of the mental image of the brand were able to explain (72%) of the changes in tourism development. Among the dimensions of the mental image of the brand, the most observed effect is related to the cognitive image (awareness) and the action image (loyalty), followed by the unique image, the inherent image, and finally the emotional image, which has the greatest impact on the tourism development of Marivan city.
Today, tourism plays a vital role in the growth and development of the destination communities' economic, social, cultural, and environmental activities. Due to recent technological, demographic, economic, and social changes, tourism marketers face the challenge of increasingly limited financial resources and intensifying competition from various destinations worldwide. Hence, it has become more difficult for different destinations based on traditional hard factors (infrastructure, economy, accessibility, and financial incentives). Thus, the destination brand and creating an emotional connection with a place have become a vital tool to become a key activity in marketing tourist destinations. Image reconstruction is based on place-based identity and understanding of local culture, which improve the quality of life of the destination residents. The mental image of a destination can be an important asset. Which alone is the starting point of tourists' expectations that can determine the future behavior of tourists. Therefore, the effects of the mental image of the destination brand are also one of the important reasons for stimulating and developing tourism. It is also a vital factor in perceptual frameworks that can explain the decision-making process of travelers.
The present research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-analytical in terms of nature. The required information has been collected through documentary and field methods. Secondary data (including books, articles, dissertations in English and Persian) in this field have also been gathered. A questionnaire has been exerted to answer research questions and collect primary data. The statistical population is all tourists and visitors who have completed the questionnaire from the natural, historical and cultural tourism centers of Marivan city who have traveled in 2021. Cochran's formula was exploited to determine the sample size, of which 383 people has been estimated. The sampling method is random, which is determined using the stratified-relative sampling method. Data analysis was performed using SPSS 26 and Smart PLS3 software programs at two levels of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.
Results and discussion
The main hypothesis, the effect of the mental image of the destination brand on the development of tourism in Marivan city, according to the value of T statistic (50.555) and a significant level (0.000), was approved at a 95% confidence level, also, according to the standardized coefficient indicates that the variable mental image of the brand explains 85% of the changes in the variable tourism development. The second hypothesis, according to the value of T statistic (46.195), the effect of cognitive imagery on tourism development at a 95% confidence level was confirmed. From the standardized beta coefficient, it can be concluded that the variable cognitive imagery explains 86% of the changes in the variable tourism development. The third hypothesis, based on the value of T statistic (16.794), was confirmed at 95% confidence level of the model. The intrinsic picture explains 68% of the changes in the tourism development variable. The fourth hypothesis, the effect of a unique brand image on tourism development, considering the value of T statistic (26.830) and a significant level (0.000), was confirmed at the 95% confidence level. In addition, the beta standard indicates that the unique brand image explains 77% of the changes in tourism development. The fifth hypothesis, according to the value of T statistic (9.278), was confirmed at 95% confidence level, so the emotional image is effective on tourism development, and also, the beta standard coefficient indicates that the emotional image explains 56% of the changes in the tourism development variable. Finally, according to the value of T statistic (47.920) and the level of significance (0.000), the last hypothesis was confirmed at the 95% confidence level. It explains 68% of the changes in the tourism development.
The present study has analyzed the role of the mental image of the destination brand in the development of tourism in Marivan city. The results showed that the brand's mental image of the destination would effectively develop tourism in Marivan city. The results of management modeling showed that the cognitive image (awareness) variable with the highest standardized coefficient (0.855), the second rank related to the action image variable (loyalty) with the standardized coefficient (0.824), the third rank related to the variable of unique image (human, cultural, historical and natural) with a standardized coefficient (0.779), fourth place related to intrinsic image variable (non-intrinsic assets) with a standardized coefficient (0.686) and finally emotional image variable with They had a standardized coefficient (0.566) in explaining the tourism development variable of Marivan city. Also, the economic development variable with a standardized coefficient (0.850) is the most affected variable of the mental image of the brand, followed by the socio-cultural development variable with a standardized coefficient (0.849) and finally, the physical spatial variable with a standardized coefficient (0.829). 0) In terms of tourism development in the city of Marivan.